Being the member of a family with more children than most, (both as a child and as a parent) I have watched my parents and my siblings, and my DH and my dear children handle these kinds of decisions many times. I know of others who have struggled with these decisions too. What resources are we willing to give, and for what reasons are we willing to give them up?
Old/ unneeded clothes and furniture -- refugees or other needy people who have none
A cozy winter morning in bed -- to help serve breakfast to freezing homeless under freeway viaduct
Time at work earning money -- time serving in the church or volunteering
Nice dinner out -- fast offering fund to help those in need
Relaxing in Sunday School class -- serving in the Nursery
Season tickets to sporting events -- time and money for more important needs
Reading a good book -- fixing dinner for a family in need or your own family
Sleep -- to care for a sick or distressed child or family member
Evening with friends -- spending time with a lonely grandparent or neighbor
Facebook time -- time to study the scriptures or do Indexing for Family Search
New shoes or clothes -- so other family member can have them
Evening of TV once a month or once a week --evening at church meeting or temple session
Semester of school -- in order to pay tithing
Beautiful yard or garden -- time spent serving in a church calling
Walking or riding the bus -- so someone else can have a car to drive
Trip to Hawaii -- help family member with rent or tuition
Summer vacation or spring break -- volunteer work for the poor
Two years of education/sports/work -- to serve as a missionary or other volunteer work
Two years of retirement -- to serve as a missionary
Lucrative job in the business world -- job teaching and mentoring youth
Trip around the world or other luxurious lifestyle -- to donate to a worthy causeFiancee, family, education and comfortable lifestyle -- care for orphans in Africa
Retirement and nice home in St George -- for apartment in SLC and call as Gneneral Authority
Entire life -- serving poor in India
Home and/or family or even life-- for gospel of Jesus Christ
The definition of sacrifice is giving up something good for something better.
In the Book of Mormon the prophet King Benjamin taught us that we will always be indebted to the Lord. No matter how often we give gratitude and try to pay him back for what we have received, he continues to bless us:
"And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?"
Not too long ago in a church meeting we were discussing the New Testament story of the rich young man who came to the Savior asking what he needed to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God; but if you wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
"He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder. thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal. Thou salt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
"The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
"but when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19: 16-22
This rich young man was not yet willing to do what the Lord ultimately asked of him.
Am I willing to do what the Lord asks of me? What am I willing to give? We are not all asked to give up all of our worldly possessions for the Lord, but do we really know what the Lord wants from us? How can we know?
(see What Lack I Yet?, by Elder Larry R Lawrence)